Free Health Care In Canada…Bus Travel In Mexico…English-speaking AA Meetings In Mexico
“Regarding free health care…it is available in Canada for all Canadian residents, whether you work or not. You need only be resident with a government health card, and you are covered. The downside? Our winters are brutal.”
— Kelly B., Ontario, Canada
“Kathleen, I have been enjoying the letters you have been sending me, and I have decided to travel to Mazatlan, Mexico, for January, February, March, and part of April. We may use our rental as a base camp and do a bit of traveling and exploring to find someplace to buy or rent long term.
“Do you have a Mexico Circle, as you have the Panama Circle?
“Also, would you be able to tell me about bus lines in Mexico? Where in Texas I might get a bus to Monterrey, then to Mazatlan? Is information on the bus lines and where they run available in English as well as Spanish?
“Finally, if you could provide me with a list of cities and towns in Mexico where they have English-speaking AA meetings, I’d very much appreciate it. This is most important for me even to consider a community.”
— Bob B., United States
Unfortunately, no, right now, we do not have a Mexico Circle VIP program, though one is on the drawing boards. Mexico Correspondent Glynna Prentice replies to your other questions:
“Thanks to Texas’ large Hispanic population, several bus companies run routes between Texas and Mexico. You can catch long-distance buses to Monterrey from most of the Texas border towns. Austin, Dallas, and Houston are also hubs for Mexico-bound bus lines.
“Autobuses Americanos runs from Austin, Dallas, Houston, San Antonio, and Laredo to Monterrey, which means you could start your bus journey from well in the interior of Texas. Grupo Senda also runs Monterrey-bound buses from these five cities, as well as from Garland and McAllen.
“The Monterrey bus station is huge, with buses leaving all the time for points all over Mexico. You could change bus lines here or stick with the same carrier for your onward journey. Grupo Senda has a bus from Monterrey to Mazatlán, your final destination. Note that Mexican first-class bus service tends to be very good indeed–reservation-only, comfortable reclining seats, clean toilets.
“The companies’ websites are in Spanish; however, Autobuses Americanos provides a list of U.S. office contact numbers. Grupo Senda’s website is here.
“You’ll find Alcoholics Anonymous groups all over Mexico, even in relatively small towns. You will always be welcome, even if you don’t speak Spanish. However, if you’re looking for English-speaking AA groups, you’re better off sticking to areas with large expat communities. On the Pacific coast, this would include Mazatlán, Acapulco, Puerto Vallarta, Sayulita, Zihuatanejo/Ixtapa, and Puerto Escondido. In the Colonial Highlands, Lake Chapala/Ajijic has English-speaking AA groups, as do Guadalajara, Guanajuato, and San Miguel de Allende. In the Yucatán, there are English meetings in Cancún and Playa del Carmen. In Baja California, English-language meetings are offered in Rosarito Beach, La Paz, Loreto, and Los Cabos (both San José del Cabo and Cabo San Lucas). And in Sonora there are meetings in at least San Carlos, Puerto Peñasco (Rocky Point), and Alamos.
“Meeting sites change, so check the local English-language newspaper when you visit a city to find the current location. With this many choices, you should have no problem finding a Mexican city with an active, English-speaking AA group that suits you right down to the ground.”